Protecting Your Pets and Horses from Mosquitoes

Author: Mosquito Squad of Victoria

Our pets have become part of the family and just as much as you want to protect yourself and your children from swarming, biting insects, you want to protect them as well. Dogs, cats, and other animals are at risk of contracting mosquito-born illnesses as well as humans are. These are the best ways to protect pets from mosquitoes, and for ranchers and farmers, how to protect horses from mosquitoes.

Consult with Your Veterinarian for Mosquito Protection and Dangers to Animals

Your vet can let you know what diseases your pet is at risk of developing from mosquito bites, as well as bites from ticks and other flying pests. According to the FDA heartworm disease results can include: “severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in pets, mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets.” Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes but mature, mate and live inside the animals they infect, causing damage to their heart, lungs and other internal organs. The animals are infected by a bite from a mosquito carrying the heartworms. You can protect your animals. The best course of action is to discuss treatment with your veterinarian, but here are some possible options:

Protecting Horses from Mosquito-borne Illness

Mosquito-borne illness isn’t just something to be concerned about for pets and humans, but also for horses. The animals are particularly susceptible because of the areas they spend time in with tall grass, lots of vegetation and standing water in ponds and troughs.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

According to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, several horses in Texas were diagnosed with Easter Equine Encephalitis (also known as Triple E or EEE) in 2015. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and birds and is neurologic in nature. Symptoms of EEE in horses can include: impaired vision, loss of coordination, temperature and altered head carriage.

West Nile Virus in Horses

West Nile Virus poses a risk to horses and humans, but in horses the mortality rate is significant. A Rutgers FAQ describes possible symptoms of West Nile Virus in horses to be: lack of coordination, anorexia, weakness of hind limbs, grinding teeth, disorientation and several other effects.

There are several ways to protect your horses from West Nile Virus and EEE.

  • get horses vaccinated if recommended by your veterinarian, and do so at the right time of year
  • do not leave water catching containers out with water in them (barrels, buckets, etc.)
  • contact a mosquito control agent to do an assessment on your property
  • regularly monitor automatic watering systems and/or consider a trough with a bottom plug
  • clean gutters on buildings to ensure no standing water
  • invest in a mosquito misting system for the barn area

Whether your concern is your family or your animals, safe and effective protection is available for your yard or barn. Contact Mosquito Squad of Victoria to come out for a free assessment and treatment plan recommendation. Ask about specials on treatment and misting systems. Call us and start enjoying your yard again today!

Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory
Rutgers West Nile Virus in Horses: Frequently Asked Questions
Keep the Worms Out of Your Pet’s Heart! The Facts about Heartworm Disease